Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Goal-hungry Colin Shields plans to net glory for Belfast Giants

Jason Rushton of the Belfast Giants celebrates scoring the second goal against the Coventry Blaze with team mates, Colin Shields, Mark Morrison and Tyler Howells at the Dundonald Ice Bowl last night

Colin Shields last night promised Belfast Giants fans that his goal famine will soon be transformed into a feast.

And with the Giants captain notching 70 goals during the last two seasons, that should be a warning for Elite League defences.

Shields has yet to find the net in six games so far this season, but not one wink of sleep has been lost.

That’s because the likes of Mike Hoffman — with four goals so far — have been chipping in and when the players who were signed to score goals begin to click goaltenders around the league will be working overtime trying to keep the puck out of the net.

“We’ve taken nine points out of a possible 12 so we can’t be disappointed with our start to the season,” said Shields, ahead of tonight’s trip to Newcastle and tomorrow’s clash with the Dundee Stars.

“We still have more to give; there is definite room for improvement. Guys are still trying to find their space, get used to the travel schedule and trying to find their scoring touch — and I include myself in that.”

With Brandon Benedict ruled out for the next two months with a knee injury, now is the time when the other goal getters need to start firing to ensure that he isn’t missed.

“Myself, Mike Bayrack, Colin Hemingway and Craig Peacock have only scored four goals between us — and one of those was an empty-netter,” said Shields.

“I don’t know why, but for some reason the puck hasn’t been going in for me.

“I had two periods last season when I was struggling for goals, so hopefully it’s just a case of getting that out of the way early — I am sure it is.

“We’ve had other guys who have weighed in, but in the tight games, like in Cardiff last Sunday, when we need a goal, you look for the regular guys to step up.

“It’s all about continuing to work hard. No matter what sport you play the guys who are high scorers throughout their careers will always get goals and it’ll be the same with us this season.

“We’ll be scoring soon and nobody is getting worried about it.

“Goals come in bunches and we’re confident they’ll come soon.”

The Newcastle Vipers Whitley Bay Arena has never been a happy hunting ground for the Giants, but Doug Christiansen and his men will approach things differently this time.

Instead of travelling on gameday, they headed to the north-east of England via the Belfast-Stranraer ferry last night and will relax this morning.

“We don’t have any excuses this time,” said Shields.

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